Friday, February 3, 2012

Chapter 53

Hey, everyone. I know it's been pretty much forever since my last update. I just don't have nearly as much time on my hands as I used to. Because of that I'm going to end this story with this chapter. I'd only planned on writing a couple more for it anyway, so it's not like I'm cutting out a huge portion of storyline I'd planned on using. I'm a little sad to be retiring Sid and Misty, but it opens me up to working more on both Patrick and Gabrielle in Scarred and Sid and Bryce in The Perfect Mistake, neither of which is going to be ending anytime soon. I'll still be updating those as often as I find time. Thanks so much for your patience and for loving this story as much as I did!

The school year seemed to fly by. The first semester was the most challenging. It had been a couple years since I had been in school, so adjusting to a class schedule and homework was a process I had to get used to all over again. I also had the entire school figuring out I was dating Sidney Crosby to deal with on top of that.

More than a couple of classes were interrupted by curious onlookers and fans who wanted to catch a glimpse of me. My professors were obviously frustrated, but understanding of the situation. I couldn't so much as step foot on campus without being approached by someone with questions or comments. Not all were nice.

I did my best to shrug it all off. There was nothing to be gained by fighting back against those that wanted to criticize. It wasn't easy to always take the high road and simply smile and walk away from some of the assholes, but I had to. The last thing I wanted was to do something that would make Sid look bad, and that's what it came down to. My behavior reflected on him, fair or not.

By the time the second semester came around people were used to me and I was able to live a pretty normal college existence. I knew I received many of my invites to parties simply because of who my boyfriend was, but I also knew that I usually won everyone over once they actually met me.

When the year ended I officially accepted Sid's request to move in with him for good. Ondieda had graduated and I didn't want to deal with looking for a roommate. Not to mention I spent more nights at Sid's place than I did at my own by the end of the year. For the third summer in a row I lived in Cole Harbour.

It shocked me how differently Troy started treating me once I was there. It was a complete 180 from how he'd been during the season. At first the niceties felt fake, but it was better than the rudeness I usually received from him. By the end of the summer however, it started to feel more genuine.

I didn't find out until years later why Troy had sucked it up and stopped treating me like some puck slut. After a particularly bad dinner in Pittsburgh during the season when I'd left close to tears Sid had given his father an ultimatum. Either Troy would accept me, or Sidney was done with him.

Troy hadn't believed him of course. It wasn't until Sidney threw Troy's stuff out of the house, locked him out, and refused to let him back in that Troy started to take him seriously. A month later when Sid still hadn't taken a call from his father and had refused to see him when he'd flown back in town to talk, Troy gave in.

Once Troy started giving me a chance I think he finally allowed himself to see me for who I truly was and not the person he was worried I'd turn out to be. It took time, but eventually we would come to not just accept each other, but enjoy each other's company. It was Troy who finally confessed what Sidney had done to me one night when it was just the two of us alone in the house while Sidney was at practice. That heart to heart seemed to heal all wounds.

My senior year of college was quite possibly one of the best years of my life. I had groups of friends from school, from hockey, and from the gym I'd taken a part time job at. I was finally getting my degree after taking those few years off, and I couldn't have been happier. Sidney sat in a secluded spot and proudly watched me walk across the stage to receive my degree.

I already had a job lined up for the summer in Cole Harbour and also one for the hockey season in Pittsburgh. In the summer's I just worked the front desk at the gym I'd been going to for the past few years since we weren't there very long. I was in Pittsburgh much longer and did personal training and taught classes there. I loved every second of it.

The summer after graduation turned out to be one of the most eventful of my life. I spent many nights sitting at the end of the dock at our house, dipping my toes in the water and looking out at the stars and moonlight shining on the lake, a glass of wine in hand. It was how I wound down at the end of a stressful day.

I was doing just that one night when I heard footsteps approaching from behind. Sometimes Sidney joined me, and sometimes he left me to myself. I smiled as I heard him, but my smile faded when he didn't sit down next to me like he usually did. A couple of silent minutes passed before I finally turned around to see what he was doing. My breath caught in my throat when I saw him down on one knee holding a ring box in his hand.

I tearfully listened to his short speech, one that I will never repeat to another soul even though I'll never forget the words, before hearing him ask me to marry him. He'd opened the box so I could see the ring, but I didn't bother looking. In fact it never occurred to me that a ring would actually be in there. I was too in shock to do more than nod my head 'yes' before kissing him.

It occurred to me after how different that proposal to me was than Mason's. Not because of delivery, or even because of the person, but because of the person I had become. I no longer felt scared to depend on someone. I'd gotten my degree, I'd gotten a job that I wanted and loved, and I was allowed to be the person I wanted to be. Now it was time for a new chapter in my life, one that involved spending it with the person I loved.

It took a while for me to actually look at the ring that was on my finger. I was too caught up in the surprise and the emotion of what had just happened to pay much attention to it. At first glance I'd thought it was beautiful, but that was it. Now that I took the time to look I realized how perfect I was. Sid and I had never discussed what kind of ring I liked. Despite that, he'd gotten me one that was more perfect than even I could have envisioned. I'd been right back when Mason had proposed. If a guy really knew you, he'd get you a ring that symbolized your relationship perfectly, and Sidney had done just that.

A few months later we were married in a surprise wedding. We didn't want to deal with fans, and anyone else who might want to show up unexpectedly to get a shot of the Crosby-Harris wedding. Instead we threw an 'engagement party' and flew in our closest friends and family, people we couldn't have imagined not having with us on our wedding day. No one knew the truth except us, our parents and siblings, and the officiant. We surprised everyone when I walked into the room in a wedding dress and exchanged vows.

Years, two sons, and a daughter later Sidney retired from playing. He did the nearly unheard of and played his entire career in the city of Pittsburgh. The team retired his number in a tear-filled ceremony before a game the following year with us and the kids in attendance. His playing days may have been over, but hockey wasn't. Sid simply moved into the front office as an assistant GM.

A chapter in our lives had closed, but that didn't mean things ended. We still had plenty of years left ahead of us. It had been quite a journey for both of us, but things couldn't have turned out any better. We were just as happy together, and probably a thousand times more, as we had been at the beginning. Life doesn't always take you where you expect it to, but it always takes you where you're meant to go, and neither of us could have been happier.